Monday, May 31, 2010

My dog

I had a dog once. I think I was eight or nine. A neighbor’s dog had six puppies and decided to give us one. So, in a sense, it was the family dog. But in another sense, since I was the one who bathed it, fed it, and cleaned up after it. That made it MY dog. 

There was nothing really special about my dog. It was brown and had about three-fourths of a full-length tail. The reason I named her Putol. 

I loved that dog. Played with her every chance I got. Walked her, even talked to her. When I come home from school, my dog was always the first one to greet me, her three-fourths of a full-length tail eagerly wagging behind her. 

I told her to never put her dirty paws on my white school uniform and she never did. I really thought she understood me. 

One day, in school, some friends decided to play basketball the coming Saturday. I thought great! I’d love to play too. And then another volunteered that he would be bringing his dog to school. Okay, I’ll bring mine too.

“So what kind is it?” the school friend innocently asked. 

“Kind? What do you mean kind? It is brown -- and it has about three-fourths of a full length tail”.  

Before the school friend could make a cruel remark, another schoolmate, kindly rescued me from the predicament and engaged him in all this talk about German Shepherds, Rottweillers and Dobermans. 

I was lost. People are mostly unkind, without knowing it.

At the supper table that night, I asked my father, “What kind of a dog is Putol?”  

"Kind, what do you mean kind?" My father was always like that, very thorough. And so I explained to him what had happened in school.  

After a long pause, my father finally said matter-of-factly “Your dog has no kind. It is a mongrel.” 

I was nearly in tears. I didn’t even really know what the word “mongrel” meant. But I knew what it was not. My dog was not a Doberman, not a German Shepherd, not a Rottweiller. 

My dog has no kind.

I rushed out to the yard to look for my dog. And as I stared at her intently, her eager tail wagging behind her, I’ve come to this realization. Nothing’s changed. I still loved my dog.

But I never walked her again.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cassandra’s Curse

(photo from here;

You have to feel for the guy who invented the battery. And I am not talking about Allesandro Volta, who made his own version around 1800.  I am talking about the work of some anonymous inventor archeologists dug-up in what is now known as Iraq.

That’s real genius right there. But, of course, no one recognized that for what it was. Volta, at least, got his name on the measure of electric potential. And I am pretty sure, the man who invented the wheel got accolades from his own tribe-mates. After all, his invention made moving that wooly mammoth carcass that much easier.

The battery? What good was it when flashlights, transistor radios, and i-pods were yet to be invented? Not for another two millenniums, at least. The man was way ahead of his time.

That is often the predicament of being ahead of the curve. You have to give the world some time to keep in step.

Like knowing only grief would come out of invading Iraq, the second Bush’s time, even before the first American boot set off on that ill-fated misadventure.

You declare, you cajole, you protest. You just know. But no one gets it. Not until it’s all too little too late.

Van Gogh sold only the one painting when still alive. Think about that the next time you just have to follow a trend, or buy that over-advertised and thus over-priced branded jeans. It’s often the fool that goes with the flow. It is a world, after all, that sells cow’s milk as acceptable and human milk tainted in eeew factor.

But don’t get me wrong, genius is not about being different for the sake of being different. It is not getting a tattoo so you can be original – like everyone else.

It is knowing what is good and true in yourself and trusting that voice even when no one else gets it.

It is playing the piano like the real virtuoso that you are, even when the only gig you can book is to play demo in a music store.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The perfect answer

A writer friend of mine was applying for a job in one of those Makati ad agencies. Feeling that she got through most of the interview just fine, she was finally ready to face the big boss, the last interview that will make or break her application.

“So do you like Air Supply?” a simple enough question, if you don’t think about it.

But underneath the seemingly harmless question was a trap. A “yes” answer means you have no taste. Anything that you can half-expect blaring out of a clunker jeepney can’t be that good. A “no”, on the other hand, would mean dishonesty. After all, who has not hummed to an Air Supply song or two? But being the real writer that she was, she had the perfect answer. 

“Do I like Air Supply? Yes... secretly.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What are the odds?

Is it just me or is anyone else bothered by the fact that getting 90% in the medical board exam considered a very high mark? 

I've heard it is very hard. I can only imagine. I am not even qualified to take it. So maybe I am just being naive. And who am I to complain, right? But think about it for a minute. Ninety percent means that he/she was wrong 1 out of 10. This newly minted medical doctor, now licensed by the board to literally cut you up every which way, is wrong 10% of the time. And he's on top of his class. 

I don't know about you, but I don't like those odds. I play poker online and I've seen too many 90-percent-sure-things drown on the river. 

Is this the reason why they call the work of a medical doctor a "practice"?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Noynoy

(photo courtesy of Dezi Ann Dayao Martinez, a diehard Noynoy supporter)

That your mother, whom I loved dearly like she was my own tita, died recently is not the reason I was finally swayed over to your side. I voted for you with no small amount of trepidation. Close to the end of the campaign, I even defended you in forums when reasonable men argued rightly, that at the very least, you lacked both the seasoning and the necessary credentials to deserve that highest office. Normally, I would follow the same line and vote for the one most deserving of that honor, privilege, and great duty. But these are not normal times. 

You are, apparently, the chosen one. Even before the final ballots were cast, the Filipino people, or at least, a great many of us, have pinned their last hopes on you. This is the silent voice of the many, brushed aside and long ignored for almost a decade. Finally, by casting that one ballot, we’ve aired our grievances over the failure of the impeachment(s) to prosper, and of the Garcillanos and the Hamburjer Abaloses apparently getting away with bloody murder.

Remember this, we did not vote for you. But rather, we voted for that ideal. That hope, that at last, maybe the Filipino people can finally come together as one nation and stand against  the blight of corruption and deceit that has plagued this nation for far too long that we cannot even remember when this was not so.

More than twelve million Filipinos voted for this hope. But remember too, that this number, though large, is not even a majority. That your task is so great, twelve million is not enough. You need the entire nation behind you. Reach out to them. 

Seek the wise counsel of honest men. Do not limit yourself to the usual sycophants that I imagine have wormed their way to your close circle by now. Keep them at arms length. Remember that they are not the reason why you are where you are. 

When you take that sacred oath this June remember all this, and remember too what Ninoy and Cory stood for. We have not forgotten. We will never forget.

Do not fail us. We are all counting on you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The best ever

Call me a romantic fool, but for me, Manny Pacquiao’s best fight was the first fight against Erik Morales. The one he lost.

I was no Manny Pacquiao fan before that, and was severely disappointed when he lost his WBC flyweight title via 3rd round knockout to an unknown Thai fighter. It was a fight he lost even before the actual bout as Manny couldn’t even make weight. It was all too easy to dismiss Pacman as just another Filipino world champion, in a long string of Filipino world champions, who got too fat and lazy after achieving some modicum of success.

But that was before Freddie Roach. Freddie took the raw Manny and taught him the finer points of the sweet science. To Manny's credit, not everyone is coachable. Perhaps the toughest to coach, in fact, would be former champions who learned the sport the wrong way, gaining some measure of success, while employing the wrong techniques. 

But not Manny. He would diligently learn everything that Freddie had to teach him. And it showed in his fight with the Mexican legend, Marco Antonio Barrera. It was a fight no one thought Pacman could win. Philippine TV didn’t even bother to cover it live. Everyone, after all, expects the matador to always slaughter the bull.

Manny has always had the power. It is a god-given raw talent that allows him to knock people out, even from impossibly awkward stances. But against a classy boxer, this raw talent surely was no match. This is what the sweet science is all about, after all, technique rules over power. 

But to everyone’s surprise, the bull would not blindly charge. He had the power still, but now also the technique to fully employ that power. And Marco Antonio Barrera, would be the first in a long line of victims to that lethal mix.

But what made Manny truly a winner in my book, was that one fight against Morales. The first fight. The one he lost.  For it was in this one fight that he best embodied the Filipino spirit, or at least, what the Filipino spirit ought to be. 

Fifth round of the fight, Manny suffered a nasty gash over his right eye caused by a headbutt. With blood streaming down his face, his vision was severely impaired. He was fighting, virtually blind. But bloodied, his head remained unbowed. Vision or no vision, he was going to give it his all. And against all odds he was going win -- or die trying.

Seven more rounds, an almost blind Manny would endure and go on to finish, losing by a mere 1 round, 115-113 in all three judges' cards. But after that fight, again a fight he lost, I was proud to call myself a countryman of Manny Pacquiao.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


If a man is allowed to hate one word with a passion, that word for me would be “nice”. Clichés are at least mildly amusing, though it is really someone else’s words, and probably for some other totally different occasion. “Nice” is just a word, not even a cliché, and the laziest excuse for an adjective. I don’t want to hear about you visiting nice houses, going to nice parties, seeing nice vistas, meeting some nice people at the nice funeral service. I’d rather you skip the word and just say “I met some (insert positive word here) people”. That, at least, would be a little funny.

But let me stop right here as I’m currently multi-tasking and playing Zynga poker on another tab. Let’s see if I can win some nice hands.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Congratulations Jollibee!

 (Photo from

I could hardly believe it myself. But there it was on the news just a few hours ago, proof positive that the rumors that had all of internet-dom abuzz were true. A Jolibee store was caught on-camera in a Glee episode. Yes people, we can uncork the champagne now. The Pinoy has finally arrived. We are now worthy of being an unintended backdrop in an American music video. Yeba! The event almost rivals the importance of that one woman’s quest to stitch-up a world record setting biggest flag ever – a Philippine flag. Too bad those cows weren’t privy to the importance of the occasion and decided to come crashing the party. Perhaps it was the red field on our flag? Let’s petition congress to just drop that. We are not planning to go to war anytime soon anyway -- not with our AFP. What’s wrong with fuchsia? Alright, aside from the fact that it is hard to spell?

I believe, the biggest flag in the world, if it happens to be a Philippine flag, is the one crucial element missing in our efforts to finally matter in the grand scheme of things. At the very least, tourists will surely flock these shores as they do now Egypt for the Great Pyramids of Giza. And I have the perfect ad campaign ready. I hope someone from the Department of Tourism picks it up. I am not even going to charge a fee.

“Come visit the Philippines, celebrating mediocrity since 1896.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recipe for love

Don't you dare believe the cliché that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Not true. Men are simple creatures. We've hardly evolved from our cave-dwelling ancestors, except that now we've decided that clubbing the woman of our choice on the head is no longer legal. 

The way to a man's heart is simple, show up. He asks you to go, you show up. Done deal. To show up in time is a bonus. To show up at all is enough.

Women, however, are not that simple. A woman needs to be wooed. Thus the appropriate name, get it? And I dare now turn the cliché on it's head and say that the way to a woman's heart is through her stomach.

Ever wonder why a pencil-neck chef like Rob Pengson is so "sexy"? Even I was befuddled. But my sister thinks so. And being the woman (and I am not), I have to take her word for it. Go ask your sister or a female friend if this is not true. Go ahead, I'll wait for you back here.

Yeah. Amazing right? Apparently a man who cooks for a woman is very sexy. Don't worry you fool. You don't need to be an expert. All you need to know is just enough so you can fake it.

And the good news is, Rob Pengson, probably tired of having to fend off all the women falling all over themselves for him, was kind enough to share a recipe or two on his cooking show. And while you fools were busy watching the pathetic games of the PBA, I was taking notes.

Here's one I am willing to share. Pay careful attention. I am only going to share one. 

Dinner for two.

Take 10 good-sized tiger prawns (about 3 inches in length) and remove the heads and de-shell. Save the heads. Remove veins and make tiny cuts so that it does not curl up when you fry it. Engineering majors, prove that your education was not all for naught! Season with salt and pepper (do not forget this bit). Slice up a nice sweet ripe mango that it approximates the length of the prawn and about a third of the girth (that's thickness, you fool). Lay them alongside each other in a lumpia wrapper. Add a leaf or two of cilantro (kinchay). Wrap neatly. Dab water on the lumpia wrapper to seal. Deep fry. Do not overcook. Once the lumpia wrapper turns brown, remove from the pan and remove excess oil by placing it on a paper napkin. Pretend you know what you are doing when you plate. Think Rob Pengson.

With the heads, you can make a nice sinigang broth. Do I need to explain how? You are that totally helpless? Okay. 

Heat cooking oil in pan. Add half a teaspoon of star margarine. Add garlic. Do not brown the garlic. Just sweat it. Once the garlic starts to smell, proceed to the next step which is to add one sliced up tomato. Add maybe a third of a spoon of patis (you can add some more later to suit your taste).  Add the prawn heads. Dash some black pepper and stir then add a one-and-a-half cups of water. Once the water starts to boil, add sinigang mix to taste. Add one green pepper (the long ones, not the bell pepper). Mix in sili leaves. Turn off heat then quickly add one roughly chopped onion (See the trick there? Not your traditional Pinoy way of cooking, huh.)

Serve with hot steaming rice.

For dessert, you can use the left-over mango. Mix water and sugar (about 50-50 to a cup) to make a simple syrup. Boil in hot pan and add roughly sliced-up mango. Wait until the mixture thickens. Then let it cool down. Serve in a nice wine goblet topped with a scoop of simple flavored ice-cream (not Rocky Road or Cookies and Cream).

There you have it.  An elegant dinner for two for less than one thousand pesos. You get an instant "A" for effort, plus an additional 50 pogi points if you executed the instructions with any kind of success at all.

Good luck.  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Convenience store

Non-smokers will probably not get what I am going to rant about. But I've a major problem. There is a great Winston Reds shortage in the Philippines right now. Yes, people, the world is near the end!

At the moment, I can only get my fix from Manang Sari-Sari Store at the corner. But she is selling it at 10 pesos more than she should. The Mafia, apparently, is no longer content in just manipulating the mungo market in the Philippines. They've diversified and are now targeting my beloved smokes. This, I believe, is going too far!

So why not just Marlboro? Or Fortune? Or Bowling Gold? You non-smoker, you! Smoking cigarettes that is not your brand is like doing the deed with a woman you do not love. Yes, it is something like that.

After spending nearly an hour in the wet market yesterday looking for my brand of smokes, I finally had to give up. And yes, was forced to buy yet another over-priced pack from Manang. She is really riding the short supply end of the law of supply and demand I tellsya. We need to put Manang in her right place by getting more stores to sell my cigs. 

Here's an idea. How about selling cigarettes at the Mercury Drug Store? They're selling just about everything else right now. Cigarettes won't be too lonely in the company of shampoos, spicy dilis, Baygon, etc. If nothing else, that would really be convenient. You can buy your cigarettes in the same place where you buy your cough medicine.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Iron chef

I don’t know enough of Japanese pop-culture to know for sure. But somebody please tell me, are the Japanese makers of “Iron Chef” serious, or are they being sarcastic? Is all the cheesiness, a tongue-in-cheek salute to all the over-the-top Japanese martial arts movies? Or is that, seriously, their idea of what ultimate competition ought to be? 

You know what I mean, the costume, the kitchen stadium, the music, and the final one-on-one combat format. Hey, even the way they shot how Chairman Kaga bites into that bell pepper is seriously funny.

And what’s the deal with always beginning the annotation to the theme ingredient intro segment with the line “If memory serves me right”? 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Somebody stop me

I normally do not subscribe to clichés. Dismiss it outright. After all, for every “look before you leap” there is almost always an equal and opposite “strike while the iron is hot” so it seems. But one cliché I’ve learned to respect is how curiosity killed the cat. And I learned the lesson the hard painful way.

I’ve always had this morbid fascination on elevator safety measures. That is ever since I had to go to this Makati office building where one elevator shoots 28 floors up, almost breaking the sound barrier, all the while making all sorts of weird mechanical whirring noises and lights flickering almost dying. Then after a brief pause at the 28th free-falls all the way down to the ground floor no matter what button you press. And because I am usually there around 11 pm, for final editing, I am always all alone in those elevator rides from hell.

“Chose the wrong elevator again, eh?” Our computer graphics guy would often greet me when I do finally make it to the editing suite all pale and breathing hard still.

“It’s always the only elevator available.” I’d weakly mumble, knowing full well the reason why it’s the only elevator available.

And then there is also that other elevator in the office building of one client that always misses the floors by half-a-foot. You either step up or step down depending on how many people rode the elevator with you. They never did figure out how many people were needed to hit the target floor dead-on. Had they done so, I am sure they would not have hesitated in assigning a few interns to act as human ballasts.

The lone elevator in the office building where I worked, on the other hand, always seemed to be “under safety inspection”.

“Four floors up four floors down is good exercise” I’d often kid myself. I even made a game of it. To minimize the ill-effects of my Winston reds, I’d buy one stick at a time from the convenience store on the ground floor. That effectively cut my smoking down by half, saved a few bucks, and all that exercise was surely good for my cardio.

But one blue moon when our elevator did work, I found myself alone and wondering what triggers our elevator from completely shutting its doors. You know, when someone holds the elevator for you and uses his hands to prevent the mechanical doors from closing. Surely the engineers, in their infinite wisdom, would choose to trigger the abort-close-door-sequence on both the outer and the inner panels of the rolling door. It makes perfect sense. Some fool might actually try stopping the elevator by holding just the outer panel.

Scientific inquiry called for an experiment, just to be sure. I first tested the inner panel, and sure enough, the elevator re-opened as it found my hand blocking the way. Second phase of the experiment, I tested the outer panel. This time the elevator doors didn’t abort and completely closed. I desperately tried to wrestle my hand free but my pointy finger was definitely caught.

“Mommy!” I silently cried as I endured the most painful elevator ride of my life. You know the other cliché on how your whole life will flash before your eyes when you are about to die? True.

“What happened?” our executive producer asked, when I finally made it to the office all flustered and teary eyed, still nursing my throbbing finger.

He nearly fell out of his chair laughing on just about every other word as I explained the genesis of my all-important scientific experiment.

“You fool! You should have just pressed 2. That way, you didn’t need to endure the entire ride to fourth.” He finally offered when he was done laughing at my genius.

“The idea came to me, actually, just when I saw the elevator pass the third floor”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Good luck!

President-elect Noynoy Aquino. We are all counting on you.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The best thing

Last time I checked, William Gates III, co-founder of MicroSoft, had 38 billion US dollars to his name. For awhile back there, he was the only man on the planet who can lose 37 billion dollars in Texas hold ‘em poker one night and wake up still a billionaire the next morning. Now that is truly impressive.

I did quick calculations, figured how much money Bill made, spread out for every second of his life since birth, and came up with over 20 US dollars. I am not so easily impressed, but show me a guy who can average more than 20 USD every second from birth and that would impress even me.

But that got me thinking. At what point did the billions stop making a difference? Would an 11 billion US dollar billionaire live just a little more prudent than a 12 billion US dollar billionaire? Would his private jets be just that little less ostentatious? Would defecating on a diamond studded golden bowl be more satisfying than my normal immaculately clean white porcelain bowl?

I’ve not tried defecating on gold, so I cannot really speak from experience. But I can imagine that it cannot be that great. So for 15 minutes every morning, when I defecate on my normal porcelain bowl and Bill on his, I imagine, diamond studded golden bowl, he is really not that much better off than me.

I tried imagining the rest of Bill’s normal day, and comparing that with mine, and I imagined that there was really no big difference, for at least, most of the day. Lunch is lunch. And I can eat anything I want, having no health issues. Does Bill need to watch his salt intake? Poor rich man!

But I am sure, even just one billion dollars would have perks. Hey, if I can afford it, I’d probably get me one of those diamond studded golden bowls I’ve heard so much about. And as I endure the hours of traffic in my daily commute to and from work, I am sure a billion dollars would come handy somewhere in there.

But on the other hand, foregoing the normal hassles of daily life, as I know it, also means missing the perks. Bill, in his chauffeur driven limo, would never have the quiet thrill of some random cute chick choosing to sit right beside him. Life is not without trade-offs.

I love my job and it pays me reasonably well. That is all I need. So when some social climbing jerk-off mentions Paris or New York, “Never been?” I often find myself replying, “No, but have you ever been to Zabarte Road, Novaliches?”

By my own twisted measure, that makes us even. In fact, I am a little ahead, if you really think about it. I can easily find New York and Paris on the Discovery Channel. Try waiting for the Zabarte Road, Novaliches episode.

Tell me, how much happier would I be if I’ve gone to New York or Paris instead of Zabarte? I met the love of my life in Zabarte. It is there that she gave me the sweetest “yes”.

For that one moment at least, even without the billions, my heart could hardly contain my happiness.

The cliché, for the most part, holds. The best things in life are free.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

You know you’re in trouble when

Women do not care about sports. Not the way we men do, anyway. I’ve yet to meet a female of the species who can recite from on top of her head the highest points scored by one Michael Jordan in a play-off game. That’s  63,  versus Boston, a game he sent into overtime via two crucial freethrows, and a game they lost.

You know your girlfriend is a real sweetheart when you do not even have to explain why you are “occupied” when it is Game 7 of a play-off series -- halfway across the globe. She will even root for your team. And cry with you when your team loses. It’s almost as good as her using your birthday as password to her email. 

When she starts rooting for the other team? I’d give your relationship another 3 months – tops.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The things that goes on in my head

There is a reason why I almost never respond to the question "What are you thinking about?"

If I am allowed a nerdy moment or two.

When I was in elementary school, I'd often play with absolutely no care about my school bus. As a consequence, I often had to walk from school to my house. At the beginning, I took the easiest path to remember (figure a). Just one turn and I'm home.

However, as I grew a little older, I took the more adventurous path (figure b). 

By the time I reached the sixth grade, I began to wonder, which is the more efficient path? I drew figure c and analyzed the problem.

And I figured that the sum of the a1 to a3 segments plus the sum of the b1 to b3 segments is equal to the sum of a(total) and b(total). The easy to remember path and the adventurous path would have me taking roughly the same number of steps.

But wait, what if I took a crazier path (figure d)?

Same analysis, same conclusion. In fact, I figured, even if I subdivided the segments into tinier segments, I would still be taking the same number of steps. But what if I subdivided the path into a1, a2, a3,.... a(n) and let n approach infinity? Wouldn't be my path now be a straight line? And isn't the nearest distance between two points, according to Euclid, in fact, a straight line? It is not possible of course, given the houses that would block my way. But here's the thing, according to the Pythagorean Theorem (figure e), C2=a2+b2, and NOT c=a+b. So what's wrong with my analysis? Is it even wrong?

By the time I reached college, I still wondered. And to further complicate things came a lesson in physics on the summation of vector quantities. Getting the sum of vectors along the same line is a simple matter of addition. However, once the vector quantities are at an angle relative to each other (not necessarily right angles), then triangular equations come into play. The question is, WHY? What happened to the "lost" vector quantity? Why do we lose vector quantities when they are at an angle relative to each other? Where does it go?

There is no punchline to this post. Sorry. But now, at least, you know not to ask me "What are you thinking about?"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Q and A


1. What's the point of having my cake if I can not eat it too?

2. Who died and gave Disney the right to ruin a perfectly good story? "The Little Mermaid" did not end happily.

3. If the moral of "Beauty and the Beast" is that real beauty is not physical, why is Beauty physically beautiful?

4. Why is there only one female smurf? Who is the mother of Smurfette?

5. If in my dream I decided to sleep, do I need to wake up twice?

6. Is it ironic or appropriate that Turkey has no national bird?

7. What time is it at the north and south poles where all the international time zones converge?

8. Without resorting to a circular argument fallacy, how would one describe what chicken tastes like?

9. If human fingers were normally eight, would our number system be octimal and not decimal?

10. Why do lists like these nearly always stop at ten?

11. Would it be so awkward if I added one more?

and questions ANSWERED

1. Why is it always in the last place we look that we find what we are looking for? Because only an idiot would go on looking for something that is already found.

2. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg. If we are to believe the theory of evolution, chickens were descended from primordial birds that were already laying eggs. It was an "almost chicken" bird that laid the egg from which the first chicken hatched.

3. How high is up? Around 100 miles above sea level. "Up" is generally influenced by our sensation of gravity. Higher than 100 miles and we begin to lose this sensation. "Up" is no longer relevant.

4. How far is "as far as the eye can see"? Around 1,600 light years. The farthest object that can be seen by the human eye is the star Deneb, around 1,600 light years away.

5. If I piss off my boss and he tells me he is sending me to Timbuktu, where am I going? Mali. Timbuktu is an actual place in Mali.

6. What is the color of zebra? Black with white stripes and not the other way around. Shaven, zebras have black skin.

7. Where is Chuck Norris? click here for the answer

8. To be or not to be? Is that even a question? It is always to be. Whatever choice we make, we can not escape our "being".

9. Magkano ang isang kusing? Half a centavo. CENTAVO not cent you fools. Kusing is an actual monetary unit.

10.Who is pound for pound the best fighter in the world? Manny Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather is a wuss.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

But don’t take my word for it

I do not get women. And I’ve come to sad the acceptance that it is pointless to even try. Women don’t understand women. So, as a man, what chance do I have? 

They might as well be from another planet. I get the feeling, in fact, that they are on their own time-zones. Five minutes is not five minutes, believe me. Not when you are picking her up on a date -- five minutes is at least half-an-hour.  

But knowing that does not give you the license to be 30 minutes late for the pick-up. You wait. Your time is not as important as her time.

And don’t think I didn’t try to understand the other half of the human species. I spent a good portion of my young life trying. And now, before committing anything to paper, I did all the necessary research. Obviously, that means consulting the sages of Hollywood. 

Remember that chick flick “Bridges of Madison County”? Damn! Girlfriend duped me into watching that. It had Clint Eastwood, she swore. And I, the fool, expected Dirty Harry and not a dirty old man. But I digress. 

The funniest scene (yes, funny!) was the one when Meryl Streep was serving Clint, or Robert Kincaid if I remember correctly, what was supposed to be their last breakfast together. 

She had one of those crazy chick moments. You know, when she gets all upset for no apparent reason. But clearly, all she wanted was for Clint to ask her to run away with him. 
Why? So she can say “no”. 

And that sums the movie up. Women want men to want them so they can reject them. Now tell me, does that make sense?

But here’s what I really don’t get. Why do I have to tell a woman she looks nice to get on her good side?

What? She doesn’t know?  She doesn’t have a mirror at home? I am willing to bet that she’s got a mirror on her purse, right now. 

So why does she need the confirmation from a guy who is obviously biased and subconsciously motivated by the urge to get into her pants? 

Some women are not that easy. They’ve evolved a more advanced bullshit detector. You simply can’t tell them that they look nice. No, I’ve learned, again from the movies, that you have to compliment her shoes. This is more honest, apparently. 

She bought them, of course she thinks they’re nice. Who am I to debate that? What value is there in my opinion, a man who really doesn’t care much for shoes? I wouldn’t know a Manolo Blahnick from a Marikina Bandolino.

High-heels, now that’s one practical joke that maybe has outlived its humor. Come on women, just stop wearing them. We don’t care. We just don’t. Stop punishing yourselves. And stop blaming men for that cruel joke. 

I, on behalf of all men around the world, do hereby declare that you are no longer required to wear high-heeled shoes from this day onward. 

There, it is now official. Now go buy some sensible tennis shoes. If Maria Sharapova can work it, so can you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Eraserheads tribute (1995)

A little something I produced way back in 1995. Yes, I am that old. But remember kids, Ely Buendia and I were BATCHMATES in UP. Although he went to Diliman and I went to Los Banos.

I wrote the script, did the intverview (no, the oncam talent is not me, though we sound alike). I even did the video editing using a BVU U-Matic editing machine. Enjoy, fellow Gen-Xers.

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hello Jesus

I am a homebody. My idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon is vegging out in front of the TV with absolutely nothing to do. It is my most guilty pleasure, that maybe I should have kept to myself.  Now that my siblings know that “I am not doing anything anyway”, I’ve become the Sunday designated baby-sitter.

Well ok, it’s not that big a deal. And I love my nephews and nieces to bits. Really I do. But handling four or five at a time can get to anyone. And forget TV. Forget the lazy afternoon. You are responsible!

But I’ve developed a secret method to control these bundles of virtually uncontrollable id. They are all going to Catholic schools, and I know what that means, having gone myself when I was that age.

So when the playing gets too rough. When screaming “stop!” at the top of my lungs makes me feel as effective as a referee in a professional wrestling match, this is what I do. With my cellphone, I secretly make our landline phone ring. 

“Who’s calling? Is that my dad?” 

I ignore the query and proceed to talk to the person on the other line. “Hello Jesus,” then I give good old JC a blow by blow account of what boy did to what girl and so on and so forth. 

I know. I know. I am bad. My place in hell is secured.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Busy week. Plus bad internet connection (where we work). I spent most of the week lying flat on my back screwing around. Wait... that didn't come out right. I spent most of the week crawling under a computer simulation system and literally screwing and unscrewing heavy metal panels. I'll try to post pictures once our "fat" German colleague posts our pictures on his facebook. Yes, he hates that I call him fat. But this is my blog, so tough. :D But no, we actually love the guy. He has made these last few busy days a little more bearable. And eniweys, most of our pictures are nothing but of us enjoying beers at Punta de Uian after a hard day's work.

I'll post fresh material maybe tomorrow. Too tired right now. And there is still the laundry to do.

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For the few of you who know me in real life, my dear kamag-anak inc., and friends from my Facebook account, please know that while I blog mostly about my life and my posts are made in the first person point of view, I do, from time to time, exercise literary license. Yes, I lie! Lol. No. Some of the stories depicted here are fiction. That I do not tell which is which, makes it a little more fun, doesn't it?

No animals were harmed in the production of this blog. Parental guidance is advised. And no approved therapeutic claims. Hindi ito gamot.


Mungo Conspiracy would like to thank:

Kuya Bing for all the support without which I would not have been able to start this blog. My baby sister Charo, who has always been my number one fan. Gie for twisting Kuya Bing's arms to lend me support. Rocky for being the first follower. Chris for the free ad space on MTC.

I would also like to mention Kuya Jong and Kuya Rolly, Rex, Kim, and all of my pumpkins, Dustin, Innah, Jonas, Danwell, Glea, Jiro, Ram, Yzab, Hannah, and Annika, who are my inspirations for many of my stories here.

And thanks to the Iligan Chapter of the conspirators who were the first to fill-up my followers' box! :)


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